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Flu Season Starting Slow, Will Likely Pick Up - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Flu Season Starting Slow, Will Likely Pick Up

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As the cold comes in the flu season does too, but there is some good news. Nationwide there is a lot more healthy people this year than last. The North Dakota department of health says at this time last year in North Dakota alone there were around 350 cases of the flu. And this year fewer than 60 have been reported, but this does not mean we are out of the woods yet. They say everyone coming together for holiday gatherings spreads a lot of illness.

Dijana Mackey- Has The Flu: "I felt helpless for him, he couldn't really do much, he kept throwing up, and I don't think he knew what the reason was for it." Dijana Mackey and her son are starting to feel better after a case of the flu. Mackey: "Lots of rest, we snuggled up and slept most of the day."

Avish Nagpal, MD, MPH- Sanford Health Infectious Disease: "This is our season to get flu, I think we are on the brink of it we haven't seen much activity right now." The North Dakota Department of Health estimates next week will be the worst week. Nagpal: "It is holiday time, and you are close to your family, you are at a greater risk of getting flu from someone who already has one." Doctors are recommending getting the flu shot, but bad news; they take up to 2 weeks to be effective.

There are many over the counter products for cold and flu, but medical experts say these only treat symptoms; you're still going to be contagious. Many doctors will prescribe you with an anti-viral... And that's designed to shorten the period of time you are contagious. Nagpal: "We don't have a magical pill for the flu." Doctor Nagpal says going back to the basics is the way to beat the flu this season. And Djana's doctor gave her the same advice. Mackey: "To get as much rest as we could, there was nothing they could really do for it, since it is viral, to go ahead and just get lots of rest, and just keep fluids down." Don't forget the most important part is to wash your hands.

Jill Baber from the North Dakota Department of Health says they are keeping their fingers crossed that this year's flu season remains slow. She says there's still a possibility this year could be terrible, but there are a few things on our side. Last year's vaccine was not the best, and she thinks this year's quadrivalent vaccine could be helping.

As long as the flu is still a threat, it's never too late to get a flu shot.

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